02 December 2012

As though I needed any more reasons to like Sweden

Sweden's got a supportive social structure, a very happy population with a high percentage of non-religion (and even the Church of Sweden is progressive enough that it performs same-sex marriages), and, of course, it gave the world Swedish swing rap.

So when I came across this page is was just icing on the cake—and I once again find myself wishing the world would follow Sweden's example. Top Toy, their branch of Toys 'R Us, put out a holiday catalog that doesn't divide its toys as strongly along gender lines. Boys are shown playing with dolls, girls are shown playing with guns. It's heartening to see people willing to let children be who they want to, rather than who adults think they should be. Now if only the toy companies themselves could follow suit and produce toys with more gender-neutral designs and color schemes (there are some good examples of it below, such as most of the kitchen sets and the Nerf guns, but I can't help but think that a boy would be more likely to play with that dollhouse if it weren't so hideously pink).

Our brain is biased toward dichotomies but in the real world very few things fit neatly into two discrete categories, especially human beings. Unfortunately a lot of our cultural norms are built upon such dichotomies, so I always enjoy seeing one dismantled like it is here. The site I linked to above seems to have compiled the images from articles here and here, and I've included the rest below the fold. Enjoy. :) (Click any image for a slightly larger version.)

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